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Openfiler....

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{PMS}fishy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
I'll start with has anyone used it?

I'm looking to consolidate all my storage into one NAS box, and I just started to play with it. My list of gripes is growing by the second, but the performance seems to be very good.

I'm going to crosspost this in the storage section.
 

SatanSkin

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
Location
Texas/Camp Lejeune, NC
I use it at work. We use it as an iscsi target for our ESX hosts. We run multiple VM's to multiple ESX hosts just fine all out of only two separate (not bonded) NICs. It works wonderful as an ISCSI target. Setting it up for CIFS/SMB/NFS is a little...well just strange, but it works. We don't really use those services on it though. It does support the above and FTP and I think a few others.

It is essentially an rpath distribution that bundles a bunch of linux utils (LVM, Parted, Samba, etc) and gives a fancy web-frontend to them. The package manager is conary, and installing anything not bundled with the distro can be a pain in the *** to say the least.

If you are just looking for a large file server and don't NEED iscsi, you'd probably be better off just setting up a linux server with samba. Post a little more detail about what it is exactly you are wanting to achieve and I can better address how I suggest going about it. I've been working on a major storage server myself recently so it's mostly fresh material.
 
OP
{PMS}fishy

{PMS}fishy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
If you are just looking for a large file server and don't NEED iscsi, you'd probably be better off just setting up a linux server with samba.

I didn't like it, FreeNAS was worst. I just went with ubuntu server + webmin. It was easiest ofr me.

I don't want to deal with a straight linux distro. I could easily build something to share out ftp/cifs/nfs/iscsi but I don't want to be in the business of supporting it.

Basically I'm looking to consolidate all of my home storage into one box. I need to handle live TV rips from my Myth box (either NFS or iSCSI) and cover mp3s and archive DVDs as well. I was also thinking of using iSCSI to augment the storage on my windows desktop.
 

SatanSkin

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
Location
Texas/Camp Lejeune, NC
First, keep in mind that any iscsi target that you mount in windows, windows is going to want to format it first. I'm not sure if there is a way around this, but if not that means you'd have to section off pieces for each windows machine.

Second, Openfiler is essentially a linux distro and requires regular updates, etc as well. It isn't however, a box that you can just hop on to and browse through your storage if need be. And it's not very expandable.

Honestly, if you are just trying to consolidate home storage into a single file server and maybe serve up some media from it, openfiler probably isn't the best choice here. You'd probably be best off with just a stripped down bare basic linux server install with samba (webmin?) and mediatomb or ps3 media server. Ubuntu server/samba/mediatomb have been rocking my multi-TB's of storage and media for a while now and works great.

If you aren't ready to give up on openfiler, at least download it and fire it up in a virtual machine so you can get a feel for its interface and how to work with it. You'll be able to decide fairly quickly if it is the right tool for what you want or not.
 

Satyrist

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2001
Location
Chicago, IL
For a straight up fileserver, Clarkconnect (technically now called ClearOS) might be another choice to consider.

Beyond initial configuration, it generally does a good job at updating itself...It is basically a stripped-down version of CentOS.
 

illuminati11_13

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Location
Virginia (DC area)
The easiest-best solution for a NAS in my opinion is OpenSolaris+ZFS. You'll have to do some work from the CLI and it's not Linux, but it's only like 5 commands to get an SMB server up an running from scratch. Plus, ZFS takes care of raid, virtual filesystems and everything under the hood, so you barely have to touch it.

I work at the LOC's NAVCC where we're building some seriously huge storage systems. Nearly everything is done with either ZFS or SAM-QFS there.
 
Last edited:

kaltag

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2002
Location
Boise Idaho
I've set up a few openfiler boxes and IMO it's far to convoluted to use for basic tasks. May I ask if you have considered a simple NAS enclosure? You don't have to deal with maintaining it and it uses very little power and they're relatively cheap for a small simple unit. If you really want a full linux distro I have heard good things about clark connect but have not used it. Probably your most straight forward approach will be an ubuntu flavor and webmin or swat. If the box isn't facing the internet I wouldn't worry too much about keeping it updated. Set it and forget etc.
 
OP
{PMS}fishy

{PMS}fishy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
I've set up a few openfiler boxes and IMO it's far to convoluted to use for basic tasks. May I ask if you have considered a simple NAS enclosure? You don't have to deal with maintaining it and it uses very little power and they're relatively cheap for a small simple unit. If you really want a full linux distro I have heard good things about clark connect but have not used it. Probably your most straight forward approach will be an ubuntu flavor and webmin or swat. If the box isn't facing the internet I wouldn't worry too much about keeping it updated. Set it and forget etc.

The performance of a basic NAS box is pretty terrible from what I have seen. Although the DroboPro looks pretty nice, the price is just way out of my reach. I'm looking to do a little more than just basic tasks, which is why something like Openfiler caught my eye. I'm going to keep looking for other options before I build a dedicated linux box.
 

dropadrop

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2001
Location
Finland
Some of the new NAS boxes have fairly good performance, it's pretty much up to the cpu. For example the Qnaps with Intel processors are very nice (TS-239 for example).

I'm considering the same though, and was originally thinking of getting something like a MSI Wind and running Linux on it. Now I'm starting to think more in the direction of Opensolaris. I have not used Solaris since version 8, but like the concept of ZFS. I have used Netapp filers at work and would like a similar flexibility regarding snapshots etc.
 
OP
{PMS}fishy

{PMS}fishy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Some of the new NAS boxes have fairly good performance, it's pretty much up to the cpu. For example the Qnaps with Intel processors are very nice (TS-239 for example).

I'm considering the same though, and was originally thinking of getting something like a MSI Wind and running Linux on it. Now I'm starting to think more in the direction of Opensolaris. I have not used Solaris since version 8, but like the concept of ZFS. I have used Netapp filers at work and would like a similar flexibility regarding snapshots etc.

I want to run RAID5, so I need at least 4 drive bays. 6 would be better.
 

dropadrop

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2001
Location
Finland
That makes it a harder choice... Ofcourse regarding Qnap they also have the TS-439 and even higher end models, just start to cost quite a bit. You could always get a Chembro ES34069 but that would probably cost the same.

Still riding bikes? I recollect you had an Intense back in the day (just building up an Intense Tracer VP).
 
OP
{PMS}fishy

{PMS}fishy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
That makes it a harder choice... Ofcourse regarding Qnap they also have the TS-439 and even higher end models, just start to cost quite a bit. You could always get a Chembro ES34069 but that would probably cost the same.

Still riding bikes? I recollect you had an Intense back in the day (just building up an Intense Tracer VP).

Yeah that is the problem. To get 4 bays or more I'm in the $1000ish range with out HDDs. Which makes me want to build one.

Yes, I am still riding bikes. Built up a Santa Cruz Blur 4x as a trail bike for this year.
 

dutch-master

New Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
I've tried both openfiler and freenas. Freenas seemed to have the most features, as well as being easier to set up. So of the two i prefer that one.

One important thing: BOTH OF THEM CRASHED and lost my data:eek:. Separate HW...

Im using ubuntu as an iSCSI target as well as Samba. Seems to be rock solid. You can install webmin as well, if you arent comfortable with the commandline...
 

dropadrop

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2001
Location
Finland
I've tried both openfiler and freenas. Freenas seemed to have the most features, as well as being easier to set up. So of the two i prefer that one.

One important thing: BOTH OF THEM CRASHED and lost my data:eek:. Separate HW...

Im using ubuntu as an iSCSI target as well as Samba. Seems to be rock solid. You can install webmin as well, if you arent comfortable with the commandline...

You can't really blame those apps for losing your data, but having them both crash sux.

I think Netapp is making a big mistake by not tailoring the virtual machine version of their filer so that it would suit home users. They would end up having quite a lot of competent administrators if they would just make limitations preventing potential customers from using it instead of their real products, and encouraging competent home users to play around with it.
 

Bios24

Member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
Kansas City, MO
I wanted to consolidate my storage into a single NAS device. Goal was to do a mirrored 1gb array with 2 drives. Good NAS appliances capable of mirroring were too much money, so I put together a cheap Core2 system. (For about the same price) Tested FreeNAS and OpenFiler, both running on a 4gb CF Card.

I personally liked OpenFiler better, partly because it had the ability to send an e-mail alert if a drive failed. (what's the point of a RAID array if you don't know when a drive fails?!) I also tested possible failure scenarios by pulling data/power plugs. System performed well with no data lose and was able to rebuild the mirrored array pretty quick. (although I only had about 20gb of data on there at the time)

Still happy with the setup, current uptime is 120 days and counting. I would say there's a definite learning curve with Openfiler, plan to mess with it for a weekend to get it working. It's no tougher than any other dedicated distro though like Smoothwall or IPCop for routers.